Alienware m15 Review: Thin, Light, Dense, Deadly

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Alienware M15 Review: Review Summary

Dell's Alienware M15 is an excellent system. It looks sharp, feels durable, and it just screams quality. The system's high-resolution 4K display makes everything you fire up on it look amazing as well, and the high resolution gives you plenty of desktop real-estate, should you need to do some work on the system as well. And if you do end up working on the system, its well-made chicklet style keyboard is a pleasure to use. As noted before, the Alienware m15's SSD options we tested could be faster, but it doesn't really hold the system back either. In addition, our configuration's aggregate 1TB of space across the two SSDs is plenty to hold a large number of game titles and other typical user data. We wish Dell had found a way to better cool the system to prevent heat from building up under the keyboard, but when it comes to maintaining its performance, that cooling solution holds up admirably. All in all though, the new Alienware m15 is a relatively light, compact gaming system that we would love to have on hand here in the lab, to keep around for regular use. It's just plain fun to use.

Alienware m15 full shot 3DMark

One reason to temper enthusiasm, however, is the Alienware m15 configuration we tested commands a fairly hefty price tag. $2,500 is a lot of money to spend on a laptop, no doubt. Entry level pricing for this new Alienware notebook does start at $1,379.99, with 8GB of RAM, a 1TB SSHD (Hybrid SSD/HHD drive), a 1080p display and a less powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It still sports the m15's striking, high-quality exterior and high-end keyboard, but the lower-end version loses many of the high-end component features that makes our model shine.

Alienware m15 back lid full left

Regardless, the Alienware m15 is a great machine for those that are seeking a high quality gaming laptop experience over all else. And if you can live without the 4K display (we can't) and slightly lower-end GTX 1060 graphics, you may want to consider the base model of the Alienware m15, which will still get you the same rock solid build quality and sharp aesthetics at a price much closer to something like Acer Predator Helios 300 we mentioned earlier. What the base model lacks in the storage and memory areas, can be upgraded manually or individually on Dell's site to come closer to more expensive Alienware m15 models at a significantly lower price. If you just have to have that high-end 4K display and the GTX 1070 Max-Q, however, you're just going to have to pony-up the dough.

Any way you slice it, Dell's Alienware m15 is a powerful machine, with an easily serviceable chassis, and room to grow. Pound-for-pound it may just be one of the most powerful gaming laptops on the market right now. It's like a powerful middleweight that can step into the ring and go toe-to-toe with heavyweights.
  • Excellent Performance
  • Gorgeous 4K display
  • High quality, premium metal chassis
  • Best chiclet-style gaming laptop keyboard yet
  • Great lighting and system customization
  • Respectable battery life
  • Pricey at some popular configs
  • Can get warm in spots while gaming

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